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Policy and Law

AFRICA DAY: Review the laws governing natural resources in Africa, CNRG.

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Photo: By Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

kmusa@correspondent.africa

Undemocratic governance has been the setback for African leaders failing to tap into its vast natural resource endowments.  The leaders are mortgaging the continent’s wealth in the name of attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs

This was revealed during the celebration of the Africa Day, May 25, when the continent celebrates the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU). Africa day is being marked to commemorate the African liberation movements, that comprised a determined African mass, ultimately freed Africa from foreign domination and exploitation.

According to the Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) based in Zimbabwe, the African Union has to prioritize the socio-economic development and cultural wellbeing of its citizens.

This year’s theme; ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want,’ was set to awaken the Pan-Africanism of OAU envisioned in integration of the African peoples and economies so as to improve the dignity and wellbeing of the African people.

A report by the CNRG shows that Africans still labour under successive epochs of domination through slavery and colonialism, reads part of the statement.

The African Union is seen as a club or rather a Trade Union of African Presidents and monarchs, the CNRG Information department reports. AU is now serving the selfish purpose of maintaining and protecting the seats of incumbent presidents.  CNRG pointed out that African people remain marooned between poverty, corruption, dictatorships and violent conflict.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, an estimated $88.6 billion, which is equivalent to 3.7% of Africa’s GDP, leaves the continent through illicit capital flight every year. This amount is half the annual financing gap of the continent. Cumulatively this translates to 1 trillion having been lost since 2011.

The continent is enduring massive resource depletion; environmental degradation and social cost of natural resources extraction.

It is the biggest contradiction that the Continent is the largest supplier of natural resources to the world, yet experiencing an exponential rise in the population of people living in extreme poverty.

Poor governance has riddled the continent with low life expectancy due to a combination of poverty, violent conflicts and climate change effects.

Children growing up in resource-rich communities go out-of-the-way to succeed in life because of the inhuman and violent conditions.

According to the CNRG, it is time to review the laws that govern our natural resources in Africa. They have remained exotic and colonial, years after gaining independence.

For instance, in Zimbabwe, the Mines and Minerals Act, specifically designed to protect the interests of capitalists is used to trample on the rights of Zimbabweans. Chilonga in Chiredzi, Dinde and Cross Dete in Hwange rural, Rimbi in Chipinge, Murehwa and Fort Rixon in Insiza are a few of many communities in Zimbabwe that are at risk of forced displacement just to massage and cushion the accounts of capitalists. These communities are deprived of their right to self-determination as enshrined in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

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Opinion

South Sudan Needs A New Rebel Strategy

At the moment, the present South Sudan has more armed groups than political parties.

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By Dak Buoth
The frail and fragile country of South Sudan was gained through a protracted armed rebellion that first broke out in 1955, one year prior to Sudan’s independence in 1956.

When the colonial government was packing and about to leave to pave way for Sudan’s independence in the aforementioned year, the South(ern) Sudanese leaders had wanted their own country.

It is evident that when colonialists did not heed to their legitimate demand, for reasons best known to them, the south(ern) Sudanese leaders rebelled and left for the bush, to fight for their right of seek self-determination which we obtained a decade ago.

Comprehensive Peace Agreement

If you remember, it was this reason that in 2005 at Nyayo Stadium, during the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), late Dr. John Garang in his speech said that, South Sudanese were not part of 1956 independence, and that with CPA, we would begin achieving real independence.

Despite the independence of South Sudan, armed insurgencies and rebellions did not die a natural death.

Many armed groups that were not part and parcel of the SPLM/SPLA before independence opted to remained in the bush, for they believed the independence struggle was hijacked, and that it was in the wrong hands. Thus, they insisted on fighting the regime of SPLM/SPLA, believing that the real independence would be ushered in when the present regime is replaced.

Nasir Declaration

Late Lieutenant General, Gordon Koang Chuol Kulang, one of the three leaders of 1991 Nasir Declaration and former leader of Anyanya 1 and 2, who died on 6th January 2022, was a typical example of those who did not believe that South Sudan was independent because from 2011, the latter never step foot in South Sudan.

I think it was due to his vendetta and enmity for the present regime that President Kiir or government did not write and send condolences except his erstwhile comrades, Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin who eulogized General Gordon as a patriot who contributed immensely for South Sudan.

At the moment, the present South Sudan has more armed groups than political parties.

In fact, I am unaware of any known and effective political party which did not come through the bush. In other words, all political entities in the country were one time guerilla movements. As at now, you will find that every political party in the country including the ruling party, SPLM has an army wing.

Government officials are still active military officers.

The current national army, SSPDF was initially called Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) which was a former army wing of the ruling SPLM. It was around 2016 that it was renamed as South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).

Most government officials are still active military officers.

Before and after the salient rebellion of December 2013 led by Dr. Riek Machar, there were many rebel groups which were in existence fighting against the government of South Sudan.

My region of Liech or Unity State alone has about six existing rebel groups namely SPLM-IO of Dr. Riek Machar, defunct SPLM-IO splinter group of General Taban Deng, SSPM of General Stephen Buay Rolnyang, NPAM by General Robert Ruai Kuol, SSUM by late General Peter Gatdet Yakah plus the rebel movement of General Bapiny Manytuil.

These are conventional armed rebels, and we cannot talk about rebellion without naming them.

In response, the government has been trying to convince and contain these armed groups by offering general amnesty and key government positions but in vain.

On January 16, the government delegations were seen in Khartoum signing peace with SPLM-IO Kitgwang faction led by General Simon Gatwech Dual, General Olony Thabo Dak and General Thomas Mabor Dhoal. This rebel faction broke away from Dr. Riek Machar’s mainstream SPLM-IO in August last year.

Although the content of their agreement is not yet out for wider perusal, chances are that these rebel leaders will be awarded and offered senior lucrative positions both in executive arm of government and military.

The question is, are these appeasing rebel strategies working? The answer is no. South Sudan government had been applying these rebel strategies prior to independence, but it has only done the country bad than good, because the number of rebel groups are only increasing yearly.

There is a common narrative that when one rebels or commit an offence like corruption, he will be exalted to higher position in government due to such poor strategies.

The government cannot continue applying the same tactics and styles consistently and expect different results.

Unless the government is out to encourage more rebellions that it can continue with these rebel strategies. These two strategies are outdated and they need to be change sooner or later.

At times, we ask whether these rebellions are the projects of the government in South Sudan? And if not than they require a new strategy to curb rebellion in the country.

Quasi-judicial institution called rebel court

One of the things I have in mind which is worth testing and trying by the government if it’s acting in good faith, is to established a quasi-judicial institution called rebel court which will exclusively deals with matters rebellion.

I think we need to constitute this rebel tribunal to be approved by parliament. This body can be obligated to receives and hears all the concerns and complaints raised by rebel groups that entered into agreement with government then later write report to be acted upon promptly.

The government would have done this via an appropriate channel provided for in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCISS), but it often appears afraid or apprehensive when dealing with R-ARCISS. Therefore, it needs to initiate its own institution to quickly handle these recurrent challenges bedeviling the country.

I fondly recall some of the key demands echoed and decried by most rebel factions are Rule of law and democracy.

Unfortunately, the government is doing non or little to achieve these fundamental ideals in the country. And so, we are yet off the hook as a country.

The Writer is the Chairman of Liech Community Association in Kenya, the views expressed here are his own, and he can be reached for comments via eligodakb@yahoo.com

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Crime

Two Police Officers Charged in Court For Murder Following An Inquest

In 2018, an inquest case was opened and the file was forwarded to the Chief Magistrate at the Kisii Law Courts.The court ruled the three officers Who were linked to the death of the suspect to be arrested and charged with murder charges.

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Two accused police Tom Mugunde and Ekiru officers in court for murder of a suspect within the police station back in 2015 photo/ Elizabeth Angira

By Elizabeth Angira

Two police officers have been arraigned in Kisii law court over murder charges of a suspect which occurred at Motonto Police post in 2015.

The two accused person Tom Mugunde and Ekiru Areman appeared before the court Deputy Registrar Dorcas Onam Mac’ander.

The two accused officers were arrested following an inquest inquiry over the death of a 45 year old Francis Mainyura while occurred while he was under the police custody at Motonto Police post.

In 2018, an inquest case was opened and the file was forwarded to the Chief Magistrate at the Kisii Law Courts.The court ruled the three officers Who were linked to the death of the suspect to be arrested and charged with murder charges.

The Deputy registrar ordered for mental assessment for the two suspects before facing the said charges.

“Meanwhile the two will be detained at Gesonso police station as they wait for directions from the court,”She noted.

The police officers will be taken to Homa bay Law court on the 17th of this month for plea.

The third officer is yet to be arrested on the grounds that he is off duty and therefore he has not reported to the Sub-County Criminal investigation office.

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Crime

Man Who Killed His Expectant Wife Arraigned In A Kisii Court

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By Elizabeth Angira

A 40 year old man was arraigned in Kisii law court for killing his wife at Bosike village,Bomariba sub location,Kisii South Sub county.

Lucas Bosire the accused person appeared before senior resident magistrate Paul Mutai for the murder charges.

Bosire is suspected to have killed his pregnant wife Everline Kerubo while she was taking a shower at their home using a blunt object.

According to the police report the deceased Kerubo who was seven months pregnant was hit on the head and died on the spot while taking a shower on Monday this week at 9:00pm.

The accused person Bosire was arrested by the villagers who wanted to lynch him,he was escorted to Igonga Police post and later transferred to Gesonso police station.

Investigation Officer at Gesonso police station Victor Maloba made an application for the court to hold the suspect in the police cells as he conducts investigation and allow time for postmortem.

The Resident magistrate granted him 14 days application to remand the suspect at Gesonso police station as investigations continues.

“Considering the application,the allegations are serious and involving murder,your security won’t be granted and that of the witnesses if you are released on bond,”Said the Magistrate.

The case will come up in court for plea and directions on 27th January 2022.

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